Oshchadbank and Western NIS Enterprise Fund Provide a Social Loan to Support ATO Veterans

Kyiv, Ukraine — October 18, 2017

Oshchadbank has provided the first social loan to a self-employed entrepreneur as part of “Social Entrepreneurship” – a joint program, partnered with Western NIS Enterprise Fund.

The loan is granted to Leonid Ostaltsev, who has been developing his own project “Veterano” for the three years. After returning from his military service in the Donbas, Leonid opened his pizza restaurant, where most of the employees were ATO veterans. In “Veterano” they can get new knowledge, master a new profession and receive psychological aid – an experienced psychologist is a staff member here. 10% of the monthly income is given to the children of the deceased servicemen.

“ATO veterans now face a huge employment problem since employers are afraid of hiring them – they are not sure how to deal with our guys. That is why I wanted to start my own business, a small pizzeria “for my folks”, for veterans and volunteers. This “Social Entrepreneurship” loan will allow me to expand the business, so there’ll be even more opportunities for helping the veterans and children of the deceased heroes”, – says Leonid Ostaltsev, Founder of the “Veterano” project.

“The “Veterano” project can serve as a good example of socially responsible business. Leonid is not only a real entrepreneur who is steadily developing his business; he is a man who lends his strong shoulder to our veterans and children. Such entrepreneurs should be the first to get social loans, – says Andrii Pyshnyy, Chairman of the Management Board of Oshchadbank.

“By providing affordable loans to social enterprises, WNISEF pursues crucial goals for Ukraine: small business support and social benefits for Ukrainians. Leonid Ostaltsev develops his own business project and encourages other veterans to start their business, investing a portion of their profits in solving social problems”, – notes Vasyl Nazaruk, Impact Investing Program Manager of the Western NIS Enterprise Fund.

Loans under the innovative “Social Entrepreneurship” program are granted at the rate of 5% to 10% per annum. Social loans are provided to the small-sized enterprises and self-employed entrepreneurs, who ensure the implementation of social projects and initiatives or solve some social problems of the disadvantaged groups. Preference is given to those projects that support primarily the citizens of Ukraine who suffered from the conflict in the East, including IDPs from southern and eastern regions, people with disabilities, low-income women and members of other disadvantaged social groups. Applications with funding requests can be sent to http://wnisef.org/uk/impact-investing/

In course of this program, Oshchadbank has already provided social loans to enterprises in Donetsk, Dnipro, Luhansk and Cherkasy regions.